Tay­lor Macken­zie...........................

Fast Bikes - - CONTENTS -

De­spite my sea­son com­ing to a pre­ma­ture end it feels like I’ve been busier than ever of late. I didn’t get the chance to watch Taz rac­ing in Moto 2 dur­ing the sea­son as most of the dates clashed, so I de­cided to jump on a plane and catch the end of his fly­away rounds with a trip to Sepang in Malaysia. Al­though the fly­away races in­volve a lot of trav­el­ling they’re re­ally good fun for all of the teams be­cause there’s a cou­ple of days down­time that every­one gets to spend so­cial­is­ing away from the stress­ful en­vi­ron­ment of a race cir­cuit.

The first day I man­aged to ven­ture into Kuala Lumpur for a spot of sight­see­ing with Taz and John Mcphee, and the se­cond day was mostly spent track­side, get­ting Taz’s kit or­gan­ised for the week­end. Ev­ery­thing was go­ing to plan, right up un­til the point that it wasn’t. We were wo­ken up by Taz’s me­chanic in the early hours of Fri­day morn­ing to the tragic news that his team man­ager Ste­fan Kiefer, had died sud­denly in the night.

Even at the time of writ­ing it’s still very hard to get my head around it, and it goes with­out say­ing that every­one was dev­as­tated. He was one of the kind­est and most gen­uine peo­ple I’ve met through rac­ing and he will be sadly missed, the world over. The team unan­i­mously de­cided not to con­tinue rac­ing that week­end, but we stayed to watch the rest of the Grand Prix ac­tion and then trav­elled home on the Sun­day night.

Af­ter Malaysia I got home and con­tin­ued with the phys­io­ther­apy on my bro­ken shoul­der, which has been giv­ing me grief since my face-plant­ing in­ci­dent at Assen. It hit me hard, lit­er­ally, but less hard than the news I was given by Hawk Rac­ing. I was called into a meet­ing to dis­cuss next year and un­for­tu­nately was told the team was only hav­ing two rid­ers next sea­son… and I wasn’t one of them. It came as a mas­sive shock; I had hoped pulling off some de­cent re­sults in 2017 was go­ing to be enough to se­cure my ride.

It’s a dog-eat-dog world in BSB be­cause there are a lot of very good rid­ers and not enough seats for every­one. There’s no point in get­ting an­gry or frus­trated with the sit­u­a­tion be­cause it is what it is, and I gen­uinely wish the guys all the best for 2018. They’ve got two fan­tas­tic rid­ers lined-up for next sea­son and I know they’ll do a great job for Hawk. This year’s been dif­fi­cult for me, what with hav­ing to de­velop a brand new bike and adapt from the rigours of Su­per­stock 1000 to ways of su­per­bike rid­ing. On re­flec­tion, it’s not been a ter­ri­ble year, es­pe­cially so as I beat my ex-world cham­pion team mate on nu­mer­ous oc­ca­sions, and I bat­tled in­jury and dug deep to take fifth place at Knock­hill and sev­enth at Sil­ver­stone. A real fire has now been lit in­side me though.

There’s noth­ing quite like the feel­ing of peo­ple doubt­ing you and I re­ally do thrive off it. I know what I’m ca­pa­ble of and I know that given half a chance to get on a de­cent bike in 2018, I’ll be able to show the pad­dock what this un­der­dog is ca­pa­ble of. But that’s enough of that fight­ing talk. In the mean­time, thanks all who’ve sup­ported me and I wish you a Merry Christ­mas and all the best for the New Year. Let’s make it a good one.

Tay­lor headed to Malaysi­ato­sup­port broth­erTaz,whose team boss passed away. How­doyou get­thisin your hand lug­gage?

Ev­ery­thing seems big to Taz.

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